As women achieve positions of influence and participate in policy decisions, they have opportunities to open up access to knowledge and resources to those with less power. Women from all levels of the social hierarchy, not just those with official status positions, have a role in social justice leadership. As social justice leaders, women work to alter the undemocratic culture and structure of institutions and society, improving the lives of those who have been marginalized or oppressed.
Theory and practice, advocacy and action to counter injustice have emerged from civil rights, feminist, postmodern, critical, multicultural, queer, postcolonial, and other movements. Grounded in these movements, social justice leaders strive for critique rather than conformity, compassion rather than competition, democracy rather than bureaucracy, polyphony rather than silencing, inclusion rather than exclusion, liberation rather than domination, action for change rather than inaction that preserves inequity.
With that view of social justice we selected articles for this special edition of Advancing Women in Leadership. These articles are only a few of the many that wait to be told about social injustices, the individuals who are its victims, and those who refuse to be held captive to its hegemony. More importantly, they reflect only a few of those that reveal hopeful stories of justice, hard choices, and profound acts of courage.
In the encouragement of advancing women in leadership for social justice, we present the following manuscripts.